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Lawyers: Abortion doctor immune from prosecution in Maryland

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for a Utah abortion doctor charged with murder for the death of a fetus in Maryland are asking a judge to throw out the charges and release her from custody.

Dr. Nicola Riley has been indicted under a Maryland law that allows murder charges to be brought in the death of a viable fetus. Riley’s lawyers say she is immune from prosecution because the law does not apply to abortion.

Also charged is Riley’s former colleague, Dr. Steven Brigham of New Jersey. He faces several counts of murder for his alleged role in the deaths of five fetuses.

Riley was extradited Thursday from Salt Lake City, Utah, and appeared Friday morning in Cecil County Circuit Court. A judge set bail at $300,000, the amount requested by prosecutors.